“God moves in a mysterious way / His wonders to perform; / He plants His footsteps in the sea / And rides upon the storm.”
These lines from 18th-century hymn writer William Cowper probably make most people today roll their eyes, thinking his words little more than an easy answer to life’s truly tough circumstances.
Sometimes, though, circumstances fall into line in such a striking way that you have to think some higher power was at work. Consider what happened on the morning of May 6, 2017, as a 22-year-old Tallahassee-area college student was out walking.
The student heard faint mewling sounds floating through the air, tracked them to a pickup truck — and found a wailing newborn curled in its bed. The baby was clad in a filthy diaper and cold to the touch, wearing only a short-sleeved onesie.
Police soon arrived, but since they didn’t even have a name for the tiny boy, all they could do was get him to the hospital.
“The biggest concern we had at that point was exposure to the elements,” Leon County EMS Captain Steve Suarez said.
“We could tell he was relatively new to the world. I think we were all struck by how cold and alone he felt in the pick-up.”
It was cold that day, dipping to below 49 degrees Fahrenheit, a good 10 degrees cooler than usual at that time of the year.
It could’ve spelled disaster for the infant, but Suarez just “happened” to have a special warming mattress on his ambulance, a piece of equipment he’d never actually used in the field.
Once the baby was at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, medical professionals discovered that his core temperature was low, his skin was peeling, and he was howling from hunger. But otherwise, he was essentially okay.
One of those professionals was hospital supervisor Lorraine Nichols. A two-time breast cancer survivor, she had never had a child, and in vitro fertilization ran the risk of making her cancer appear a third time.
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She and her husband Charles had started adoption procedures, but they’d been told it could take ages to get paired with a child — at least until the mystery baby arrived at the hospital.
“I truly believe that what God has for you is for you,” Nichols said. “It’s on his time, and God said, ‘No, you’re going to get [this baby] this time.’”
After four days in the hospital, the child went home with Nichols. But he had something that he lacked at admission: a name.
Little Caleb “Charlie” Nichols might’ve mysteriously found the perfect home, yet that doesn’t mean the same serendipitous fortune might not be waiting for other children.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, nearly 400 children in the area are in foster care or awaiting adoption — just looking for a home all their own.
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